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4 Tips For Authentic Self-Care – When We Are Nourished, Anything Is Possible

Written by: Hannah Kinderlehrer, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Now, more than ever, our lives are filled up with external obligations. From the constant distraction of gadgets and social media, to the demands of work, home, family, friends, pets, etc… as a culture we are more depleted than ever. Reports of stress, anxiety, depression, alienation, and isolation are skyrocketing. How did we get here? That’s a novel in and of itself. But how do we get out? One step at a time, and the first step begins with us.

We are a living, breathing, organism, deserving of care and respect. Self-care is the act of deeply attuning to ourselves, listening to our body-beings (which includes our hearts, minds, physiology, energy, emotions, and sensations). This is a practice all cultures have had some form of practicing, until the modern era.


Creating this time of quiet and listening is healing in and of itself. Our body-beings are speaking to us all of the time, we are usually to busy to hear more than the basic cries for water, food, sleep, or pain medication. But when we listen more closely we hear the deep messages of our longings. I have ignored the call, many many times, and ended up paying for it. What I strove for in productivity and time saved, I then made up for with illness, injury, or long periods of time in need of deep rest.


But if instead of ignoring the wisdom of our body-beings, we respond, we end up being able to give and receive more, to find more meaning and contentment over time. The world of consumerism has offered us mani-pedis, club med vacations, and retail therapy as self-care. These are fun and enjoyable, but they don’t meet our body-beings’ deeper needs.


What does true self-care look like?


That’s between you and you…but here are some things to try that my clients and I have co-created through their inner work.


Rituals: lighting a candle to greet or end the day, acknowledging and honoring your favorite tree, offering gratitude each morning and each evening for what was meaningful in your day, self-massage at the end of the workday to soothing music, daily meditation or mindfulness practice, dancing in your living room to your favorite song of the day, preparing a weekly meal that satisfies your soul, etc…


Time in nature: I could write a novel on the benefits and imperatives of time in the natural world, but even a morning stroll will do the trick.


Rest: naps, stretching, baths, taking a day off when you body is asking for it, moving mindfully with kindness.


Support: weekly check-ins with close friends or family, counseling, coaching, reaching out to friends or family when you are wanting loving contact, asking neighbors for help, reaching out to co-workers when you’re overwhelmed at work…asking for support offers double the benefit because by reaching out with our needs, we give others the chance to offer their gifts.


These are just a few ways to lean in towards yourself, towards giving yourself what every living being deserves. And when we are meeting the desires and longings of our body-beings through self-care, we have SO much more to give. The demands of work and home life start to feel more manageable, we are more productive, and we may even feel inspired to reach out and volunteer or serve those around us because we have more satisfaction in our own daily lives.


Self-care is for every day, not just the weekends or vacations. It can happen in a moment of placing your hand on your heart and being there for yourself, to a day long nature sojourn, and anything in between – whatever works for you, is what will sustain you. And the deeper you listen, you’ll find that it’s never the same, and you get to be delightfully surprised by the desires of your body-being.


The more of us that are in pain, the more that pain is acted out against the world.


The more of us that are satisfied and nourished, the more the entire world benefits, we become a mirror and a beacon of wellness, inspiring others.


So here’s to your self-care!


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


 

Hannah Kinderlehrer, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Hannah Kinderlehrer believes we can all live an amazing, full life through the wisdom of the body. After learning to thrive with chronic illness and injury, she became a holistic coach combining mindfulness-based Hakomi Psychotherapy, embodiment, self-compassion, nervous system regulation, and more. She supports clients, dance students, and workshop participants to fall in love in with themselves and life, from the inside out. She created Awaken the Dance and Rise and Thrive Coaching, and leads an annual six-month womxn's journey called Homecoming, focused on belonging. She has taught internationally and leads regular classes online and in Boulder, CO. She holds a degree from Naropa University, the Peacemaker Institute and is a Certified Hakomi Practitioner. Hannah has studied dance for 40 years and has been a student of Buddhism for over 20 years. She believes wholeheartedly that is our birthright to live a joyful, meaningful life, and that embodied, mindful living will take you there.

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